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7.3L Starting issue
Hello All, I left the title vague as I am really unsure as to what the problem could be. I have read a lot on this forum and have checked a lot of things, but as it is my first diesel I have a learning curve to achieve. First off, she is a 2001 F250 SDSC 7.3L. I bought it used with 150k miles, it has had some mods that I can tell, and some I have performed. It has an AFE Stage II intake, a 5 inch straight exhaust with no cat or muff from MBRP. A 6 position power switch, unsure of who manufactured it or what the exact setting are, 1 is stock I believe, 1 is a high idle I know, and the other 4 are various power increases unsure as to the exact. A boost annihilator from Sinister(I screwed around with the one that was on the truck before I knew what it was and screwed it up), and a 3 gauge pod that I installed. I have changed the oil, fuel filter, and air filter since I purchased it(the previous AFE was beyond cleaning).
For the first few months it worked fine, started perfectly and ran like a dream. Then over the summer it started having a problem starting the first time of the day(temperature irrelevant), it would crank, run for a couple of seconds and then falter and sometimes it would then settle herself and idle properly and sometimes it would die. Recrank and it would be fine. That progressed to almost always dieing after the initial crank. Then one time it wouldn't recrank, I thought maybe I had glow plug problems, checked resistance values and I have one bad on the driver side. Should not be enough to cause all this, checked the GPR and it appeared to not be functioning properly so I replaced it. Still would not start, so I tried the ether route, and got it to crank, and run fine. Ran all day no problems, the next day, go to crank her and she's back to doing the same thing as before, cranking, then dieing after a couple of seconds, unless I run the RPMs up to about 2k right at crank for a second or so, then she will idle down and run fine.
So, I thought maybe a vacuum leak in the fueling system, however, if that was the case I think my bowl would be empty after the initial crank and die, it is not, so does that mean I don't have a vacuum problem. Have also seen HPOP and IPR symptoms discussed on here that I guess could be at fault. Like I said, very new to diesels and trying to learn on the fly. Any help or education would be appreciated.